Southminster man jailed for manslaughter after altercation in Maldon

A man has been jailed for three years for manslaughter after the death of Daryl Bunn in Maldon.

Daryl, 27, died in hospital on June 30, 2019, after being assaulted the day before. 

Sonny Hazell, 25, of Kings Road, Southminster, was found guilty by jury at Chelmsford Crown Court on November 30, 2020.

The jury heard how Mr Bunn and his friend became involved in an altercation with a group of people outside the Iceland store at around 8.50pm on June 29, 2019.

The pair had met up that afternoon to discuss their ‘best man’ speeches at another friend’s forthcoming wedding.

They later met their other friends at the Oakhouse pub and the Blue Boar in the High Street.

Daryl and his friend left together between 8pm and 8.30pm to head back to Daryl’s house.

As they made that journey, they became involved in an altercation with a group of people.

During the incident, Daryl was punched once, causing him to fall backwards. He hit his head on the ground and a forensic post-mortem examination found he had suffered a traumatic brain injury.

His friend suffered a broken jaw.

Daryl, from Maldon, was flown to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge but died as a result of his injuries.

Sonny Hazell, then 23, was charged with manslaughter and causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

Hazell denied the charges and stood trial at Chelmsford Crown Court on Monday November 16, 2020.

On Monday 30 November, a jury found Hazell guilty of manslaughter. He was acquitted of causing grievous bodily harm in relation to Daryl’s friend.

At the same court on Friday January 8, he was sentenced to three years in prison.

In a statement following the sentencing, Daryl’s family said: “Three years will never be enough in our eyes for our Daryl, but justice has been done and that was what we promised him and now we can finally grieve”.

Senior investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Lee Morton, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: “This is a tragic case where Daryl Bunn lost his life because of the reckless actions of Sonny Hazell.”

Another man, Jordan Hooper, 24, of Princes Avenue, Southminster, was charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent in connection with the assault.

He denied the charge and stood trial at Chelmsford Crown Court on Monday November 16, 2020 where he was acquitted of causing grievous bodily harm in relation to Mr Bunn’s friend.

A third man arrested – a then 23-year-old man from Maldon – was arrested but released without charge.

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Mick Ferris

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